chapter  7
Agrarian change and poverty*
Pages 18

Policies for agriculture have usually been conceived and evaluated in terms of overall national production figures and average per caput consumption, without reference to disaggregated views. Evidence from dry regions of south India shows that among the more prosperous farming families, rice and some wheat may account for two-thirds of the grain consumed, while in the same area, poorer neighbours take only a quarter of their grain as rice, using no wheat but more pulses, and relying predominantly on the coarse grains. Aggregate foodgrain production has been well able to keep up with the rate of population growth, which was about 2 per cent per year over the whole period, but not all food grains have shared equally in this achievement. The effect of the new technology on employment has varied between regions, and is still controversial. Demand for labour in agriculture at certain times in the farming year has increased.